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We’re bringing a fresh perspective to Massachusetts’ South Coast. Our quarterly magazine is your go to guide for our coast, from Little Compton to Buzzards Bay. We delve into the fascinating people, homes, food & restaurants, history, art, sailing & recreation and the hidden places of the South Coast.

We’re hard at work on our 2019 issues now. Drop us a line at [email protected] and let us know what you liked in our current issue or what you’d like to see more of. Sign up for regular email updates and be in the know for monthly specials and offers, like special meet-ups and discounts on local events.

Enjoy!

RECREATION

SMALL BLK TRAINER KAYAK

PLACES

SMALL 2 Fall River Historical Society copy

FOOD

SMALL HAMBURGER 2

 PEOPLE

JILL2 copy

 

 

8 Great Things for August on the South Coast

Goodbye July, Hello August! We’re ready for you with a smorgasbord of activities for a balanced, well-lived month: eating, drinking, cycling, movies, music & butterflies. Our 8 Great Things for the South Coast this month…

1. Feast ‘Til You Drop

The largest Portuguese Feast in the US fills four days with live entertainment, parades, music, dancing, and delicious food. To give you a sense of the size of the party: the event features a 40 foot barbecue pit where attendees can watch their skewers of beef cooking. Head over to Madeira Avenue in New Bedford any day this weekend to take part in the festivities. August 1-4 (Thursday starting at 6pm, Friday-Sunday starting at 12pm). 50 Madeira Ave, New Bedford. More here. 

2. Shake(speare) It Up!

Summer Shakespeare is back! There are 7 chances in August to catch the Glass Horse Project’s production of Much Ado About Nothing for FREE! Load your beach chair, some snacks (and maybe some bug spray) and head to the park to enjoy the show! After opening in Onset last weekend, the show will be touring 4 more parks on the South Coast in August. You can catch it at the Fairhaven Town Hall, Shipyard Park in Mattapoisett, Tabor Academy in Marion, and Wings Court in New Bedford. Weather delay info can be found on their Facebook page. August 3, 1 pm, and 5 pm in Fairhaven; August 4, 1pm in Mattapoisett; August 9, 5 pm in Marion; August 10, 1pm and 5pm and August 11, 1 pm in New Bedford

3. Take an Arty Road Trip

The Art Drive, in its 12th year, is the bar crawl of local art studios. This year, over 20 artists with studios spanning 15 miles on the south coast will be opening their doors. Meet some local artists, see their studios, and explore new parts of the South Coast. Check out the map of participating artists right here and start planning your trip! August 9-11

4. Cycling and Wine Tasting

The Appalachian Mountain Club is leading a 30-mile bike ride through Westport and Dartmouth. Get outside and enjoy the stunning views along the way of farmland, rivers, and beaches along the South Coast. No better way to celebrate the accomplishment than with a glass of Chardonnay, and conveniently the finish line boasts just that! The ride will culminate in a private wine tasting at Westport Rivers Winery. $15 per participate. Register here. August 17, 10-3.

5. Two Shows for the Price of None!

The New Bedford Symphony Orchestra is teaming up with Fall River’s Movie in the Park to bring you a free concert (part of NBSO’s Free Summer Pop Up Series, see a full list of their dates here) followed by a screening of Captain Marvel. What a double header! August 21, 6:30pm Music followed by 8pm movie. Heritage State Park, Fall River.

6. Illumination Night

UPDATE: Illumination Night has been cancelled this year due to concern over the EEE virus. There’s no better way to cap off a wonderful summer than with Onset’s Annual Illumination Night. Roam the flare lit beaches for gorgeous views of Onset Harbor, glowing along the shore line in every direction. Bonus tip: be at the beach by 9 pm to hear the horn signaling volunteers to light the thousands of flares and watch as the volunteers sprint the beach, one flare to the next, lighting up the harbor as they go! August 24, activities beginning at 7:30pm, flares lit at 9 pm. Onset Beaches. Paid Parking available at the Onset Pier. Free parking at Hynes Field. More here. 

7. Barn Bash

We love the Dartmouth Natural Resource Trust! And their biggest party of the year is just around the corner! Celebrate the great work of the DNRT at this super fun event, complete with live music, dancing, an auction and food and drink vendors. Tickets starting at $90 to support the DNRT’s work.  August 24, 5:30 pm. 23 Horseneck Rd, Dartmouth. More here. 

8. The Butterfly Effect

The Mass Audubon is calling on butterfly watchers and enthusiasts of every level to make sure no butterfly is left behind! The experts of Massachusetts Butterfly Club will lead teams of volunteers to identify the different species living in the Sanctuary. Spend the day enjoying Allens Pond Wildlife Sanctuary, learning about native butterflies, and cataloguing butterfly encounters. The event is free, but pre-registration is required! August 31, 10 am-12:30 pm. Allens Pond Wildlife Sanctuary, 1280 Horseneck Rd, Westport. See more here. 

Wanna keep up with the coolest happenings each month on the South Coast?! Sign up for our free monthly newsletter right here!

Cover photo by James Mahaney, Fairhaven

Our August Best of the South Coast is out and you’ll find it on newsstands now.  It’s popping with great content (100s of our readers’ local favorites, some rockin’ local athletes, woodworkers and lots more). If you want a copy delivered to your door with things you won’t see online, subscribe right here! Or just help us spread the word about South Coast Almanac by sharing this post with your friends on facebook, twitter or by email.

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8 Great Things in July on the South Coast

Welcome to July! It’s that month with so much pizzazz: fireworks, heat & sunshine! After you enjoy your Independence Day festivities, here are some special things to make the most of the month ahead. [Drum roll for this month’s 8 Great Things]

Samantha Fish

1. We Love Paloozas

Fall River is the place to be on July 11. Block-A-Palooza is back this summer featuring blues rocker Samantha Fish who has been called “a blues tornado.” The free festival hosts Fish and opening band The National Reserve in front of the courthouse in downtown Fall River. July 11, starts at 6 pm. 186 S. Main Street, Fall River. More here.

8 Great Things2. Ahoy There!

The Buzzards Bay Coalition gives adults a FREE introduction to sailing, accompanied by a sail in the very lovely Onset Bay (we’re partial to Onset Bay!) on their 14-foot RS Quest sailboats. July 11, 5:30 to 7 pm. Onset Pier, 184 Onset Avenue. Free but pre-registration is required. More information and registration info is here: https://www.savebuzzardsbay.org/events/adult-intro-to-sailing-jul-11-2019/

Photo by Andrew Ayer3. Free Fun Fridays

The Highland Foundation is offering free admission to over 100 Massachusetts museums this summer. Locally, Battleship Cove is free on July 19. Take advantage of the Highland Foundation’s generosity by visiting these South Coast treasures free of charge. And check out the list to see if there are some other places you may like to visit further afield.  (See the list here.). Battleship Cove, 5 Water Street, Fall River.

4. NOLA on the South Coast

We love the South Coast Brass Band! Join them for some New Orleans jazz and funky stuff at Gilda’s Stone Rooster. 8 to 11 pm, July 18, 27 Wareham Road, Marion. More here. 

Photo credit: Sue Paling5. Oysters, Up Close & Personal

If you enjoyed David Paling’s account of becoming an oyster farmer at 63 years old in our Early Summer issue (check it out here), then join David and some of his Crooked River Farm crew as we motor over from Onset pier to his Wareham shellfish grant. A 2 hour trip will be filled with entertaining commentary from the farmers, shucking fresh oysters and tasting their oysters, which David calls the “oceanic version of the perfect Manhattan.” July 20, leaving on the Miss Chris from Onset Pier, Onset Avenue. 4 to 6 pm. $49 per person includes boat ride & oyster tasting ($44 for subscribers of our print magazine). Email [email protected] for more information and to reserve your space.

6. Mamma Mia!

We are already humming Dancing Queen. In its 30th season, the New Bedford Festival Theater presents the show that’ll have you smiling the whole way home. July 19 – 28. Tickets range from $39 to $65. The Zeiterion Theater, 684 Purchase Street, New Bedford. Buy tickets here.

7. Classic Movies

Mayor Jon Mitchell kicks off his summer movie series at the Zeiterion Theater with the original Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, starring Gene Wilder. Just like the old days: enjoy a movie on the big screen in plush velvet seats. The prices are like the old days, too. Just $3 per person. Thanks, Mayor Mitchell. July 31 at 7 pm. The Z, 684 Purchase Street, New Bedford. More here.  

Photo from Zen Revolution8. Outdoor Zen

During those deep winter months, we dream of tree pose with a salt water vista. It’s the time of year to store up those views for the year. There are several classes that take advantage of the South Coast’s lovely historic areas & vistas. For instance, check out Zen Revolution at Fort Phoenix. $5 drop in fee Mondays, Wednesday and Thursdays at 6 or Saturdays at 8:30. Fort Phoenix, Fairhaven. See more here.

There you have it, our top picks for July on the South Coast! Wanna keep up with the coolest happenings each month on the South Coast?! Sign up for our free monthly newsletter right here!

Photo: Josh Souza

Our early Summer issue is on newsstands now.  It’s popping with great content (a Tiverton farmhouse that flirts with industrial style, the sport of Azorean whaleboating and the people behind it, behind-the-scenes with local dairy and oyster farmers, a fashion shoot in Padanaram Harbor, and lots more). If you want a copy delivered to your door with things you won’t see online, subscribe right here!

Or just help us spread the word about South Coast Almanac by sharing this post with your friends on facebook, twitter or by email.

 

 

 

 

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Hello Oysters! Reflections from a Wareham Oyster Farmer

At 63 years old, Wareham’s David Paling decided to embark on a second career as an oyster farmer. He shared his story with us in the current print issue of South Coast Almanac and we’re reprinting it here. Settle in and read his story (and join us for a boat ride to his shellfish grant on July 20th — details below)…

On good days being an oyster farmer can feel like you’ve got the best job in the world. When cool weather and low tides sync, and your boat is running well, and the tasks that day are not back-breaking, and all around you have hundreds of thousands of happy oysters suspended in their floating bags silently gobbling up planktonic food and growing like crazy, it is easy to reach the level of happiness that is elation. The miracle of farm raising Crassostrea virginica — Eastern oysters — can do this. Bliss comes in many forms: an hour or two wading in quiescent water and finding nothing wrong with gear, nor any evidence of human or natural predation; the freedom of being the master of your own liquid domain, driven by tide and weather rather than artificial schedules imposed by more traditional occupations; the thrill of seeing your crop — fingernail sized when you bought them from a hatchery — achieve the three-inch length, deep-cupped status required by today’s market forces; the wonder of nature all around you with cobalt skies and shimmering sun overhead and teal water below giving life to the likes of so many species. The list is simply too long to capture. In times like these, the work doesn’t seem like work, and you feel lucky to be amidst these marvels, a part of the ecosystemic, global spin.

oyster farmer

David & Steve with the All In

But there are bad days as well, and it becomes quite clear that oyster farming is not easy money and physically not something that anyone can get up from their chair and do. To wit: Steve Patterson and myself, general partners and owners of Crooked River Shellfish Farm, have accidentally dumped our oysters on the substrate by miscalculating the mesh size of our containing bags. We’ve had closure flaps fail, spilling yet more of our young spat along the shallow bottom. We’ve bounced our boat — the ‘All In’ — off the docks. We’ve gone home bleeding from contact with razor-sharp barnacles and oyster shell edges. There have been other low points. The first day we found dead oysters, natural victims of the expected mortality rate dealing with them, I got a whiff for the first time of this necrotic slop and it smelled as bad as, no worse than, a dead oyster. The constant repetitions of hoisting some 183,000 oysters in and out of the boat for culling purposes has escalated degeneration and my arthritis has me hurting from topgallant mast to stern. And once, when replacing the drain plug after emptying the boat of sea water at full throttle, I threw myself, my wife and oldest daughter Carly all out of the ‘All In’ when it took a violent right turn the moment I let go of the wheel.

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